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I'm getting ready to switch (back) to Linux (again). However the one thing that keeps me addicted to my Windows box is my macro keyboard(s). I use them for gaming. ...
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  1. #1
    Just Joined!
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    Dec 2004
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    Macro Keyboards for Linux and/or mapping scancodes from 2 keyboards independently?


    I'm getting ready to switch (back) to Linux (again). However the one thing that keeps me addicted to my Windows box is my macro keyboard(s). I use them for gaming. I use them for work. I use them all the time.

    Because of the fact that I actually -use- the numpad and other keys I don't consider the idea of remapping "real" keys to the macros to be sufficient ... I really do want additional keys. However if there is a way to assign macros a specific device (external numpad, etc) while not mapping my main keyboard, that would be a viable alternative. Can I map scancodes from 1 "keyboard" without remapping the same scancode on a different keyboard?

    The keyboard I'm using right now is a MS Sidewinder X6 and I am by far the most happy with it. I've used a Logitech G15 and a Razer Lycosa in the past as well.

    What are the chances that someone has found a way to make the macro keys on any of these 3 keyboards work? I'm flexible on what "work" means.

    I'm told that most of these keyboards require an initialization string to be sent to them before they will turn on the macro keys. My multi-media keys already work (I'm using Linux Mint 6 atm, similar enough to Ubuntu that we can just call it that for these purposes) ... I'm specifically wanting to enable the additional macro keys.

    I could be happy with any of the following:

    * Preferred: be told "stfu and play with ESE, it works if you send this initialization code first, here it is / here is how to find it"

    * Use the keyboard driver in Wine (but doubt this would work)

    * Get a different keyboard (but I'll really miss having my numpad on the left) that has additional keys that can be used in Linux to create macros.

    * Something else entirely?

    I'm not a coder but I'm not inept and slapping hacky stuff together. I don't need all the functionality of the programs that come with these keyboards, I just want to know:

    * How to initialize the keyboard to turn on the macros

    * How to assign a programmatic function (multiple key presses, timers between presses)



    Any hints? I've been googling for a few days but not much luck.

  2. #2
    Linux Newbie
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Third ring of Pergatory
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    199
    It depends on your desktop, Fluxbox has a keys file that will allow you to remap macro keys, but you'll have to write the macros for them. Use xev to poll the devices (the keys) for their keynumbers and then just add a line in your keys file at the base of the .fluxbox menu in your home directory
    Keynum :Exec macro
    example
    Code:
    223 :ToggleDecor
    161 :Exec xcalc
    178 :Exec fluxwrapper firefox 
    236 :Exec fluxwrapper thunderbird
    237 :xmms -p
    231 :Restart
    232 :ShowDesktop
    233 :NextWorkspace
    234 :PrevWorkspace
    230 :Exec fluxwrapper rednotebook
    229 :Exec fluxwrapper leafpad
    Control Up : MoveUp 5
    Control Down :MoveDown 5
    Control Left :MoveLeft 5
    Control Right :MoveRight 5
    176 :Exec amixer sset Master,0 1+
    174 :Exec amixer sset Master,0 1-
    160 :Exec amixer sset Master,0 toggle
    162 :Exec xmms -t
    164 :Exec xmms -s
    144 :Exec xmms -r
    153 :Exec xmms -f
    I have a labtec keyboard, so I'm mapping the "picure keys" across the top of the keyboard

    If you try this, when you screw up a macro, it will render your keyboard inert so save your key file early and often and keep a rescue disk handy so you can boot a vanilla kernel and swap your keys.bak file with our keys file.

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